A Greek official, who was the last remaining western diplomat in Mariupol, Ukraine, described harrowing scenes that may constitute war crimes after he was finally evacuated from the city.
Manolis Androulakis, Greece’s Consul General, who spoke to journalist Kostas Onisenko from a secure location in central Ukraine, was left speechless over the devastation the city has suffered. “Words are not enough to describe the tragedy,” he said.
Mariupol, a vibrant port city in southern Ukraine, has been heavily targeted by Russian shelling in the past two weeks and more than 30,000 people are estimated to have fled already. At least 2,400 civilians have been killed so far in the city, Ukraine officials say.
“Every day the situation was becoming worse. The city was encircled and the battles were closing in. Civilians were hit. The civilian infrastructure was hit. A hospital was hit, a library, a university. When I say they were hit, I mean nothing was left standing,” Androulakis said.
He describes the chaos following the Russian strikes. “All infrastructure was lost in the first three or four days of the siege. We were left without water, electricity, or telecommunications. Mariupol ran out of supplies such as food and gas. I witnessed a huge humanitarian crisis.”